Mekong Region Land Governance Project


Supporting the strategic engagement of the alliance to influence the policy and practice change in order to improve the tenure security for smallholder farmers in Cambodia.

MRLG supports

  1. Recognition of customary tenure rights in policies and practice
  2. Conflict transformation through the mediation of a conflict between Busra communities and the company Socfin Cambodia in Mondulkiri
  3. Responsible agriculture investment that respects local land tenures and integrates smallholder farmers into their business models
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Objective of the Alliance for the Recognition of Customary Tenure in Cambodia:

The Alliance aims to contribute towards secure customary tenure rights of communities, smallholder farmers including women, Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable groups in protected areas (PA) and forests through:

  1. Working at the policy level to advocate for a full recognition of customary tenure rights within relevant laws and guidelines and application of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principles in the establishment and management of protected areas and forests. The Alliance also seeks to protect and extend the rights of communities to access and use forest resources for productive purpose and to be involved in the management of the PA
  2. Supporting the practical application of FPIC principles in the implementation of the PA zoning process and the PA and Forest Management Planning. MRLG supports the documentation of customary tenure practices of local communities living near and within PA and ensure that these practices are considered in the zoning of the PA
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Partners of the Alliance for the Recognition of Customary Tenure:

  • The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
  • The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC)
  • The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF)
  • Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Program (NTFP-EP)
  • Cambodia Women’s Media Center (WMC)
  • Highlanders Association (HA)
  • Community Empowerment and Development Team (CEDT)
  • Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER)

MRLG support land-related conflict mediation as an out-of-court conflict resolution mechanism:

The Cambodia Land dispute Independent Mediation (CLAIM) project has been funded by MRLG since November 2016. It aims to introduce alternative conflict resolution through mediation. The mediation is a voluntary collaborative process where the parties in a conflict meet together with the help of an independent mediator in order to discuss the issues, develop options, consider alternatives, and negotiate a consensual agreement or settlement.

The conflict between Socfin Cambodia and the local communities in Busra dates back to 2007-08 when the government allocated two Economic Land Concessions (ELC) to the company for a rubber plantation while the local indigenous communities lost their lands and were affected in multiple ways by the investment. After years of attempts to compensate the villagers and address their grievances, the company and five communities agreed in 2016 to use a mediation process to discuss the remaining issues in a systematic manner.

Monday, 10 August 2020 marked an important day for indigenous communities from Busra commune in Cambodia as they signed an agreement with the rubber company Socfin Cambodia to settle a long-lasting dispute about their communal and spiritual lands. 

Partners involved in the mediation:

  • The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF)
  • The Independent Mediation Group (IMG)
  • Legal Aid Cambodia (LAC)
  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Objective of the Alliance for the Responsible Agriculture Investment (RAI) in Cambodia:

The Alliance aims to generate evidence-based dialogues on agri-business models that ensure secure land rights, equitable benefit sharing and inclusiveness of smallholder farmers, in the framework of contract farming law and related policies through:

  1. Conducting comparative research to evaluate different agricultural business models and provide recommendations to improve the regulatory framework of contract farming and economic land concession
  2. Organising policy dialogues inclusive of the government, private sector, and farmers to enhance the understanding of opportunities and risks of various agricultural business models
  3. Supporting the development and pilot of the grievance mechanism for addressing conflicts related to contract farming

Partners of the Alliance for the Responsible Agriculture Investment (RAI):

  • Department of Agro-industry (DAI), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Department of Planning and Statistics (DPS), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI)
  • Centre for Policy Studies (CPS)
  • Farmer and Nature Net Association (FNN)
  • Grow Asia – Cambodia Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (CPSA)
  • Oxfam – Cambodia
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Country Related Publications

Impact Stories Cambodia

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